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Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
V&A to have 150m facelift
The new Spiral building will cost 75m
The new Spiral building will cost 75m
London's Victoria and Albert museum is to undergo its biggest redevelopment in 50 years with a 150m revamp.

The museum's bosses are planning to redesign the layout and construct new areas in a bid to make it more modern and visitor friendly.

The museum is an extraordinary historic building but it is complicated and the layout often confuses people

Director Mark Jones

One of the major developments at the south Kensington venue will be the opening of new Mediaeval and Renaissance galleries, which are being part-funded by a 1m anonymous donation.

Half of the 150m budget will be spent on the Spiral building, which will house the V&A's contemporary collections.

The museum's director, Mark Jones, said the redevelopments will "transform and renew" the venue.

He said: "The museum is an extraordinary historic building but it is complicated and the layout often confuses people.

"The focus of the plan is to bring clarity to the V&A by ensuring that the collections are easy to understand and magnificently displayed."

Other new developments outlined in the 10-year plan include a central garden which will have galleries surrounding it.


A new contemporary gallery will open later this month to display modern works.

The V&A has seen a big increase in admissions since entry fees were dropped last November.

More than 1.8 million people visited in the last financial year, half a million up on the previous year.

The museum will host an exhibition on Indian cinema
The museum will host an exhibition on Indian cinema
It is the highest figure since 1985/6 when the museum first introduced voluntary charges.

Since November, when admission charges were dropped and the V&A opened the new British Galleries, three times as many people visited as in the same period the previous year.

Mr Jones said: "These figures show that free admission makes a huge difference and has opened up the museum again to many more people."

The museum will be hoping a new exhibition of posters and hoardings from Indian cinema will help increase visitor numbers over the summer.

Cinema India: The Art of Bollywood, which starts on 26 June, will show the history of Indian film posters from the 1950s through to the present day.

The exhibition brings together for the first time in the UK some of the most remarkable examples of Indian cinema art.

See also:

21 Mar 02 | Film
Bollywood goes on display
14 Feb 02 | Arts
V&A visitor numbers under fire
09 Jan 02 | Arts
V&A launch terracotta first
22 Feb 01 | Entertainment
V&A plans new image
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